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#YOGjourney Continues ... 29/11/2017

Breaking for Gold in Essen © Little Shao The third and last of the Continental Qualifiers for the Breaking events at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) takes place on Saturday 2 December in Taipei City, TPE. Participation is limited to some 120 breakers from as many as 27 countries in Asia and in Oceania, who have all managed to take the first hurdle in their quest for a YOG berth already.

They were among the 395 worldwide who made it past the first of the three-stage qualification process by uploading a 45-second recording of their best dancing skills to breakingforgold.com. Olympic history was made when expert judges proceeded to screen the more than 1,000 videos submitted by 15 to 17-year-old b-boys and b-girls in 81 countries, and to select those they wanted to take a closer look at in one of the Continental Qualifiers.

Stage one of the process was global in a truly unique way: no costs, no restrictions, no formalities whatsoever! Only the confidence in one’s ability as a breaker, a video camera or a smartphone, plus access to the Internet were required to take the first step towards Buenos Aires 2018.

As it turned out, the next steps implied decidedly more bureaucracy. The hosts of the Qualifier for Asia and Oceania had their work cut out in that respect. Cross-Straits sports exchanges may have become a common occurrence over the years, yet they still require a great deal of communications and unconditional respect for the protocols established by the Nagoya Resolution.

Between the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF), the Chinese DanceSport Federation (CDSF) and the Chinese Taipei DanceSport Federation (CTDSF), every effort was made to ensure the participation of five b-boys and one b-girl representing the People’s Republic of China in this Qualifier. Successfully: an official delegation under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Sports is led by CDSF Secretary General Su Jie. In Taipei City, he will meet up with his counterparts in making this first ever breaking exchange happen: WDSF First Vice-President for Sport Shawn Tay and CTDSF President Royce Yeh.

As of 29 November, 109 entries from 25 countries have been confirmed. Among them are breakers whose travel and accommodation expenses are covered by the hosts through generous financial support by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and government agencies. 

As was the case in Philadelphia and Essen, this Continental Qualifier is also embedded into an established event. Taipei Bboy City has taken the place of R16 in Seoul, KOR, as the eminent breaking tournament in Asia. Aside from the qualifying in the YOG events 1 vs 1 B-Boy and B-Girl, there will be other battling too: 1 vs 1 between some of the biggest names in the art/sport and under the UNDISPUTED brand. 

After the final knockout battles of the Continental Qualifier in Taipei City we should know the names of 20 b-boys and 10-girls who will be able to continue on the “Road to Buenos Aires,” with the last hurdle to be taken in May 2018 at the World Youth Breaking Championship in Kawasaki, JPN. The 12 b-boys and 12 b-girls making it to the YOG in October will get selected based on their results there: 1 b-boy and 1 b-girl per country!